Bears live, play, and eat in the woods. They poop too… in the woods, that is. They poop so much that author Huw Lewis Jones has dedicated his newest picture book, Do Bears Poop in the Woods, to the smelly subject. It should be mentioned, though, that this book covers a great deal more than poop. It’s a book about, well…bears, and what their lives are like, including when and where they prefer to poop.
This adorable over-sized book is the go-to for bear lovers. It’s even great for people who DON’T love bears but simply want to learn about them. Readers learn what bears look like, where they live (mostly in the forests, mountains, tundras and deserts of North America, South America, Europe and Asia), and how to watch for bears (preferably from a distance!). Readers learn that bears live in caves, inside hollow tree trunks, and even high up in the trees. That’s right, some bears live in tree houses.
There is a smile-worthy two-page spread that examines different bears and their characteristics. For example, the sloth bear does not look exactly like the polar bear, which does not look exactly like the American Black Bear or the Brown Bear or the Spectacled Bear or… well, you get the idea. Author Huw Lewis Jones even takes readers back in time to ponder whether there were ever dino-bears, and if so, what they looked like.
The book covers every subject you can think of regarding bears. And of course, it covers poop. Not just any old poop you might find in the woods, but the poop of the mighty bear. It covers how many animals feed on “cylindrical” bear poop pellets, and how this poop is just full of what growing animal babies need, like undigested seeds, berries, grass, and… well, enough of that for now.
Suffice it to say that this book is fantastic. The prose is fast-paced, witty, and full of poopy material that will keep children turning pages until the very end. Artist Sam Caldwell’s illustrations are rich, vibrant, and practically lumber across the page just as any self-respecting bear would. There is a section on what bears eat, how some of them can smell through ice that is several feet thick, and how they use sounds and body language to communicate. There is a glossary of important words at the end, and even a section of “Sad Stories” that examine whether bears will be extinct some day.
Use this book in your elementary science or environment classroom. It also makes excellent supplemental text for group or individual reading. Enjoy!